Saturday, October 26, 2013


 It's interesting-- the foods people crave when they're not allowed to eat-- Like my mom who's still in the hospital (29 days and counting) and on a diet limited to chicken broth, cream of wheat, and Jello. 

When the time came for a more substantial meal, her very first request was a Dairy Queen chocolate milkshake with whipped cream and a cherry on top.  I literally ran out of the hospital and into a hail/snow/sleet/thunderstorm to get her one on Thursday.

And in the blink of an eye it was totally consumed leaving a smile on Mom's face (for the first time in a very long time) as she practically purred the word "Delicious!"

What would you crave?

PS  I was in Ohio again all this past week and I'm heading there again on Friday so I'll be scarce in these parts for a while.  Please keep Mom in your prayers for healing and strength.

Welcome to  -  Joanna Jenkins

Sunday, October 13, 2013

I'm Not In Charge

Just when I thought life was about to get back to my normal routine, I was reminded that I'm not in charge... Not even a little.  Here's what I've been up to and a few things I've learned along the way.

1.  Three weeks ago I got a cold.   It was 90 degrees outside.  Since then I've been drinking cough syrup like it's my job and gone through about 2 dozen boxes of tissues. 

2.  Then totally out of the blue and for no reason at all, I'm getting a stabbing feeling in my right calf followed by what feels like an electric shock-- a really long and painful electric shock in my calf-- and then it just stops.  Completely.  Like it never happened.  At first I thought I was dreaming (while wide awake) but it kept happening over and over.  I have an appointment with the doctor in November-- because it's not "an emergency".  In the meantime, I'm randomly grabbing my leg in pain and trying not to look like a nut case.

3.  Two weeks ago I boarded an airplane with a wonky leg and wearing a surgical mask so as not to infect fellow passengers with my cold.  I discovered said fellow passengers still do not want to sit with me.  When fellow passengers threw a nasty hissy fit they got to have the center seat I was supposed to sit in all to themselves.  I got to sit in Business Class... Where I slept like a baby and never coughed once during the nearly 5 hour flight.

4.  Upon arriving in Cleveland, Ohio from #3's plane ride, I immediately drove like a wild woman to the hospital where my mother is recovering from an emergency surgery.  She's holding her own but has a long road to recovery ahead.  Please keep her in your prayers.

5.  While at the hospital with mom (still wearing a surgical mask along with about ten gallons of antibacterial lotion 100% of the time) I realized it was the same hospital I worked in 36 years ago when I first graduated from high school.  The only thing that's the same after all these years are the elevators-- the ones I used to (and continued to on this trip) get stuck in on a regular basis.

6.  I discovered hospital food is now delivered by folks wearing Fast Food-type uniforms who say "Room Service" when bringing patients their food tray.  I laughed out loud at that one.

7.  I miss the good old days when your actual doctor-- the one who knows you personally because he's treated you for years and has all your medical history-- was still your doctor while IN the hospital.  Now they have "Hospitalists" who make the rounds on every patients in the hospital for your doctor.  Yes, these are smart docs but really... these docs are over worked and have no knowledge of a patient's PAST medical history, they are simply treating the patient TODAY.  It's unsettling when you ask a Hospitalist treating your mother a question about her medical state and a blank stare is received in return-- Followed by a lengthy reminder to the doctor of your mother's medical history.

8.  I think my sisters and I earned gold stars for not knocking the Hospitalists on their butts more than a few times.

9.  That is, except for Mom's surgeon-- Dr. Blue Eyes.  He is awesome, and very cute.  I think our mother would like to take him home with her when she's discharged... Which won't be for a very long time so until then she's enjoying flirting with him shamelessly on a daily basis. 

10. Beware when a hospital offers Valet Parking that is staffed by 80 year old volunteers as a fund-raising opportunity.  It's best to park your own car, even in a blinding rainstorm with a leg that feels like it's being electrocuted.  I'm just sayin'.

11. Are you a "The Big Bang Theory" TV show fan?  If so, then you will appreciate how sweet it was to hear two different generations of my family sing "Soft Kitty" to my mom.

12. Nurses are angels.  Truly-- There is nothing better than a good nurse.  Be nice to them.  And bring them black ink pens.  Everyone is always taking their pens, especially Hospitalists.

Hope you are doing great! 
Welcome to - Joanna Jenkins
Photo Credit: © John Takai - and © notkoo2008 -